Your experience moving from a receiver to seperates?

Discussion in 'AV Receivers' started by Kenneth Harden, Apr 17, 2005.

  1. Kenneth Harden

    Kenneth Harden Screenwriter

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    As in, when you moved from a good receiver to seperates, what did you expect, and what did you get?

    More dynamic range?
    Lower noise floor?
    More power?
    Better sound quality overall?

    Just wondering what sort of improvements you obtained. My next move, years down the road, will be something in the low-end Lexicon, Parasound Halo area - wondering what to expect.

    Thanks!
     
  2. TimMc

    TimMc Stunt Coordinator

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    Kenneth, Kenneth... "years down the road"?

    You got it bad, man. Upgradeitis, that is. You're already to daily posts, and that means that years shrink to months or weeks or nothing. So which separates will you be buying before the end of 2005???

    OK, the biggest reason I have a separate amp is the perception of dynamic range and effortless headroom. Can't guarantee that it's actually that much more superior than a good honest 100W/ch receiver, but I don't wonder and I sleep better, etc. Yup, you can get (much) more power and in theory that extra reserve helps w/ the range & headroom or whatever - but honestly most of us really don't ever use all 250 or 300 or whatever watts per channel (eh? eh? speak up, sonny!)

    If you've got it this bad, then maybe go the halfway house route - just get an external amp and use your HK just as a PrePro. And if you haven't completed your homework and don't know really what you're likely to get from an upgrade (to separates or to whatever), then "just say no" - for now. Don't pull the trigger unless/until you have a "sonic budget" - until you know pretty much for sure what you'll get for the investment. Short of cold turkey, that's one of the best treatments for upgradeitis around.
     
  3. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    How come nobody ever asks about my experience ditching the separates for a relatively low end receiver. [​IMG]
     
  4. John Garcia

    John Garcia Executive Producer

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    If your speakres aren't pushing the limits of your receiver in terms of ability to deliver power, you aren't going to see a dramatic improvement from a separate amp (at least it may not seem obvious). What TimMc said is what I found when adding monoblocks to drive my mains. The sound wasn't exactly different, though there was a noticable improvement in detail (my mains are 4Ohm), it was the fact that with the extra headroom, there's never a time when I feel I'm pushing it - music is always effortless.
     
  5. Kenneth Harden

    Kenneth Harden Screenwriter

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    Tim:

    I am a poor college kid, just not gonna happen for some time. The HK is to hold me over for a few years until I can spend a LOT of money on something I REALLY want.

    Phil:

    Nobody wants to hear what they don't want to hear (the downgrade, that is, NOT the sound quality/your story)

    John:

    Very true.
     
  6. Andy_A

    Andy_A Second Unit

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    just curious--which HK receiver do you have? What type of speakers?
     
  7. Girish

    Girish Stunt Coordinator

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    I switched from an HK (avr500 which I was using as a prepro)to a proceed pav/pdsd keeping rest of the equipment same. The difference was day and night. Separate preamp improves the sound quality tremendously in my opinion.
     
  8. Kenneth Harden

    Kenneth Harden Screenwriter

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    Andy:

    AVR 635 ($680 shipped, no sales tax from J&R)

    Klipsch F3's, C3 (backordered, have not received it yet), and B3's for the rears. JBL E250P for the sub.

    I work for BB/Magnolia, so I get smokin' deals on the speakers. Choose the HK over the Denon 3805 on advice from your guys (someone told me I could use the sub in 2-channel, this seems to be FALSE and I am a bit upset).

    All of this in a 13' X 14' bedroom with a 27" JVC [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. Kenneth Harden

    Kenneth Harden Screenwriter

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    Girish:

    Sounds like a nice step up. It looks like Proceed kinda dissolved into the Harman Specialty groups (Lexicon, Revel, and Mark Levinson) - it is kinda nice to know my HK shares some of the same DNA [​IMG] (wishful thinking...)

    Harman has treated me very well.
     
  10. Andy_A

    Andy_A Second Unit

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    wow, that is a good setup. I'd love to get my hands on a 635. I have a 325 right now and it is great. I would probably use the 635 indefinitely as a receiver without an upgrade (?) to seperates. I think it was said before, but you would need to push your speakers to a very high sound pressure level before any shortcomings of the 635 would be seen. You could also add a high power stereo amp for the main channels and relieve much of the 635 power supply burden. Then the 635 would only be pushing the center and surrounds. I have a stereo amp now that is very good but I've been toying with the idea of running an older HK AVR7000 with main amp inputs. They can be had for around $300-$450 used and have a great deal of power, around 110 wpc. I've also looked at some really stout older 80s amps that can really push out some wattage like the Halfler or Carvers. The great thing about power to push speakers is that it can be gotten really cheap if you know what to look for.

    PS--you should be able to use the sub in stereo mode on the 635. You may need to go into settings and change some things around, though. Remember that all the settings are independent of source and speaker type, so it may seem like you're doing things over and over, but once it is set up, it will work great. The HKs are very customizable and aren't always the easiest to figure out.
     
  11. Chu Gai

    Chu Gai Lead Actor

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    Flexibility
    The ability to create more complex systems, if that's what you're in to.
    The ability to replace just one item if that's what goes bad.
     
  12. Kenneth Harden

    Kenneth Harden Screenwriter

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    Chu Gai:

    It would be my dream to go into the on screen menu and have the capability to program ANYTHING I wanted, such as make my own modes (sub on at xx Hz. low-pass, L/R speakers with a xx Hz. hi-pass, surround speakers playing 10 db. below calibration to add ambient effects, stuff like that, what *I* want to do)

    I am sure some preamps (and hi-end receivers) let you do that stuff.
     
  13. Andy_A

    Andy_A Second Unit

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    I thought you could do that with the 635?
     
  14. Kenneth Harden

    Kenneth Harden Screenwriter

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    Any idea how?

    The setup and functions are kinda quirky, and I need some help!
     
  15. Andy_A

    Andy_A Second Unit

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    The 635 is extremely customizable. You are able to set up different speaker configurations for different sources. You may also utilize the receiver's bass mgmt. for different inputs, which will let you set the crossover basically wherever you want it for each input. You could for instance, listen to vid 4 on 2 channel only w/ speakers set to large giving a full signal. Then you could set DVD to small speakers w/ a crossover of 80 HZ. Also remember you'll need to make speaker/crossover adjustments for each input used, because it memorizes them independently.

    You'll want to become really familiar with pages 19-31 of the manual titled "system configuration" Good luck
     
  16. Kenneth Harden

    Kenneth Harden Screenwriter

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    Andy:

    Could I set one input (CD player with optical input) so that it will play with my two main speakers and the subwoofer?

    If so, I will be THRILLED.
     
  17. Andy_A

    Andy_A Second Unit

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    that should be no problem at all. Just tell it for cd input that you have two speakers only plus a subwoofer. Also be sure to change the input to whichever optical input you would like to use. You may need to set the speakers to small, but maybe not. Be sure to use the on screen display.
     
  18. Kenneth Harden

    Kenneth Harden Screenwriter

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    I can do that!?

    Wow. Does not seem logical, but sounds good to me!
     
  19. Kenneth Harden

    Kenneth Harden Screenwriter

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    I have no idea how to do that. When I go into the OSD, I cannot see how to set something for the CD input different than the DVD or other input.
     
  20. Andy_A

    Andy_A Second Unit

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    It may not be evident right away what input you are on. Just in case, hit the cd button on the remote and then look at the signal light on the receiver to see if cd is in fact the input it is on. Once you turn on the OSD, it should already be on the cd input. From there, set up digital in or analog in and speaker selections. First maybe try changing a lot of inputs and going into setup for each one. Then set up all different speaker settings. When you go back into each different one, you'll see how the settings are all independent for the different inputs. Good luck
     

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